A/N: Sorry for the delay; I needed proper source quotes and I couldn't get them at college. Now, requested by Raye of the Sunshine and Alchemistofpeace, here's Swiftpaw!

Disclaimer: I still don't own anything.

Spirit Cat

Swiftflight sighed; she always hated coming for the young cats. They had their whole lives ahead of them, and yet they were stolen away before they had a chance to become warriors. It was always a challenge to deal with the more defiant ones; in the end, she could only send them on if they allowed her to.

She entered the field of vision of the black-and-white tom, causing him to tense up. "Who are you? Why are you on ThunderClan territory?" he demanded.

She purred with laughter; it was amusing how many cats treated her as an intruder until she revealed her reason for being here. "My name is Swiftflight," she told him, "and I am a messenger of StarClan."

The tom flattened his ears and shrunk back. "Why are you here?" he asked.

Her gaze softened as she looked at the frightened tom. "You know why I'm here, Swiftpaw. I'm sorry, but it's time."

"That's a lie!" he snapped, startling her. "It has to be! Brightpaw and I… we were gonna be warriors together… This is all Bluestar's fault!"

She approached his and gently ran her tail along his flank. "I know. I've had to bring numerous cats to StarClan before they had a chance to become warriors. It never gets any easier. Especially since your circumstances were so unusual."

He suddenly gasped, causing her to pull back. "Brightpaw! Is she alright? Where is she?" he demanded.

"Calm down. I haven't seen her here yet, so she hasn't come to join StarClan. She's still alive, although…" she trailed off, unsure what to say.

"Tell me!" Swiftpaw hissed.

Swiftflight gestured with her tail to a spot behind them. When Swiftpaw looked, his muscles tensed harshly. Brightpaw was lying there on the ground, bleeding from the horrible wounds on her face. It was like his body failed him as he sank to the ground, breathing heavily. "This wasn't Bluestar's fault; this was my fault," he gasped. "She's going to die… because of me."

"Brightpaw!" Cloudtail launched through the clearing past the two spirit cats. A few seconds later, Fireheart, Sandstorm and Greystripe followed. But while Cloudtail ran straight for Brightpaw, the older warriors made their way to Swiftpaw's body.

"Great StarClan, what did this to him?" they heard Fireheart say. "What a waste. If only Bluestar had made him a warrior. If only I'd let him fight, instead of sending him-"

"Fireheart! Fireheart, Brightpaw isn't dead!" Swiftpaw's ears pricked at Cloudtail's words.

"Don't worry," Swiftflight assured. "I may not be able to see the future, but I can tell Brightpaw's a fighter. She'll have to work a little harder, but she'll make it. You don't have to fear for her. Besides, Cinderpelt is a great medicine cat. If anyone can help her, it's her."

Swifpaw pushed himself to his paws, his whole body feeling heavy. "It hurts so much…" he muttered.

"I know. But you died fighting; at least take pride in that," she assured.

"Thank you. I think I'm ready to go know," he finally sighed.

Swiftflight gently touched her nose to him and turned away before she could watch him fade. That deep sorrow in his eyes cut deeper than any sword.

"I don't understand. Why did you bring me here?" Swiftpaw questioned. "Is someone going to die here?" Swiftpaw had been in StarClan for long enough to get to know Swiftflight more (she even encouraged him to give Firestar one of his lives), but he still didn't completely understand her. Then again, no one in StarClan did.

"Somewhat. You'll see when we get there," she purred mischievously. The two were sitting at the very back of the Clan, who had gathered for a meeting at the Highrock. Firestar was perched atop it, looking down at a certain apprentice. "I, Firestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. He has trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend him to you as a warrior in his turn. Thornpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

"I do." Swiftpaw's eyes widened; this was Thornpaw's warrior ceremony!

"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name: Thornpaw, from this moment you will be known as Thornclaw. StarClan honors your loyalty and your intelligence, and we welcome you as a full warrior of ThunderClan." Swiftpaw felt his chest swell with pride as his former clan mates called his former den mate's name, but he also had a far off look; Swiftflight was imagining that he was wondering what his ceremony would have been like.

"Before you go, I've something more to say," Firestar continued. "First, I want to honor the apprentice who should have been here, receiving his warrior name along with Thornclaw. You all know how Swiftpaw met his death trying to hunt down the dog pack who threatened us. His Clan will always remember that."

Swiftflight moved over and gently licked the apprentice's shoulder as he trembled slightly. He was truly thankful that Firestar acknowledged him as a warrior.

"In addition, I want to give thanks from the Clan to Fernpaw and Ashpaw. They showed the bravery of warriors in the race against the dogs, and although they are still too young to receive their warrior names, we honor them," he continued.

"Good work, both of you," Swiftpaw said, even though he knew no one would hear him.

"There's one more ceremony to perform." Swiftflight watched warmly as Lostface was beckoned forwards. Swiftpaw looked confused; hadn't she already received her warrior name, albeit a cruel one, from Bluestar? "Spirits of StarClan, you know every cat by name. I ask you know to take away the name from the cat you see before you, for it no longer stands for what she is."

Swiftpaw nearly stopped breathing. Was he really…? "By my authority as Clan leader, and with the approval of our warrior ancestors," ("approved," he heard Swiftflight say) "I give this cat a new name. From this moment she will be known as Brightheart, for though her body has been gravely injured, we honor her brave spirit and the light that shines on within her."

"See what I meant?" Swiftflight mewed happily. But Swiftpaw had already gone. The older cat didn't dare disturb him; she could see him up front with Thornclaw, Brightheart and Cloudtail, although none of them could see him. She smiled, allowing him this moment to feel like a true warrior among his clan mates.

A/N: I hope this turned out well!